Alumni Profile: Nicole Radlauer
Irvington High School in Irvington, NY
Reed College 2023
Seeds of Change: Ecuador, 2016
Bridge to the Future: Costa Rica, 2018
What was the most memorable or impactful part of your Sustainable Summer experience?
I often think back to my experience meeting and hearing the life story of Daniel Vega, an organic farmer in Costa Rica. The brief time that we got to see his farm and work with him has never left me, and I still feel so grateful to have been able to speak with him and understand him in his own language.
How do you apply your experience to your life now?
I first did a Sustainable Summer trip when I was 15 on Seeds of Change in Ecuador. That trip thoroughly changed my perspective on agriculture, food, and sustainability and ignited my passion for those issues. I went on another trip to Costa Rica two years later. After, I worked in my town to create a system to collect food scraps to be composted at the farmer’s market. I also worked at a farm to table restaurant. It was an incredibly informative experience to see some of the logistical aspects of running a sustainable business, and I love working in food service. This fall, I started my first year at Reed College where I hope to study Environmental Studies.
The educational experiences that Sustainable Summer made possible for me shifted my perspective on many aspects of our culture. I left both experiences much more aware of the implications of the choices I make in terms of food. I hope to travel more in the future and work on sustainable farms or for sustainable small businesses.
What’s next for you?
This fall, I started my first year at Reed College where I plan to study Environmental Studies. I’m currently focused on school, and I hope to get more involved in environmental movements in Portland.
Any advice for students considering Sustainable Summer programs?
Sustainable Summer is great because it is grounded in and driven by passion. If you love to learn and excited by the prospect of adventure, a program would probably be a great experience for you. I lean towards the international ones, but I’ve heard great things about all of them. Some general life advice that applies greatly to the programs is to be prepared to get dirty and pack light!
Thank you Nicole!
We’ll continue sharing stories from alumni over the next few months. If you are a past student of Sustainable Summer, and would like to be featured here, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org!